The VinFuture Foundation Honors Exceptional Minds in Science to Effect Meaningful Changes in Vietnam

Professor Quyen Nguyen, Co-chair of the VinFuture Pre-screening Committee

With a surge of STEM students in universities and foreign-educated talent, Vietnam has enormous potential in science and technology. This thing attracted more people to join the field. 

VinGroup, one of the most influential private Vietnamese conglomerates, invests in the country’s most exceptional minds in the STEM industry with VinFuture Foundation in 2020 to help leverage Vietnam’s position on the global science map. The VinFuture Foundation is a non-profit organization created by Chairman Pham Nhat Vuong and his wife, Mrs. Pham.

Professor Quyen Nguyen explained the Foundation’s concept, purpose, vision, and strategy in following interview.

How do you think the VinFuture Foundation will affect the lives of Vietnamese scientists and technologists in the future?

The workshops that we intend to organize will be led by top scientists who will teach Vietnamese students how to identify critical scientific problems to pursue, how to use local skills, talents, and resources to solve global problems, how to write proposals and scientific papers, or how to put an idea into action. Our only goal is to bring research ideas to life, similar to the VinFuture Prize’s goal of promoting science for humanity.

We want to build a platform where young Vietnamese researchers and scientists can network and exchange ideas while also inspiring and nurturing their passion for science and education.

Could you please explain the concept of the VinFuture Foundation?

VinFuture is the brainchild of billionaire Pham Nhat Vuong and his wife, Pham Thu Huong.

The things that happened during 2020 demonstrated to the founders that we need to bring together individuals with great minds and good hearts now more than ever to solve our most complex global challenges. Science and technology are critical forces for human development, contributing to a more peaceful, prosperous, and happy world.

How will the Foundation grow and develop through the annual VinFuture Prize event? 

VinFuture is a non-profit foundation that operates independently. The two founders have contributed an initial endowment of $100 million to the Foundation, which will last for years.

VinFuture Prize Inaugural Awards Ceremony takes place in Jan 2022

Other global prizes have used the endowment for investment and then used the annual gain for the prizes, which is a common practice. So, to be sustainable, the Foundation is also considering this approach.

What is the VinFuture Prize’s approach to diversity and equity?

VinFuture Prize Council Members

As a female scientist, I see that women must work much harder to achieve the same, if not comparable, recognition as male scientists and hence VinFuture has dedicated two special prizes for innovative female and exceptional researchers in developing countries. We want to recognize those who truly add value, regardless of their nationality, social status, gender, or background. That, I believe, is what distinguishes the VinFuture Prize.

How does the Foundation promote breakthroughs in emerging technologies?

To encourage breakthroughs in nontraditional fields, the VinFuture Foundation established a prize for the achievements in emerging fields. These necessitate the collaboration of scientists from various disciplines to establish a new field or research direction.

We hope to bring together leading scientists, policymakers, technology companies, startups, and others to identify opportunities to integrate science and technology into everyday life. The VinFuture Foundation’s annual VinFuture Prize is thought to help remove barriers in science research by supporting and motivating aspiring researchers, particularly female researchers and those from economically disadvantaged areas.

About The VinFuture Foundation

VinFuture Foundation was founded in 2020 by Chairman Pham Nhat Vuong of VinGroup, one of Vietnam’s leading private conglomerates, and his wife, Mrs. Pham Thu Huong. The Foundation’s ultimate goal is to foster science for humanity and recognize outstanding innovations in science and technology, to connect the Vietnamese research community with the world’s leading minds. Its goal was to break down science barriers and support female scientists and researchers from economically disadvantaged backgrounds.

The Foundation holds its annual global award ceremony – VinFuture Prize – to recognize outstanding achievements in the Vietnamese researcher community, with the following ceremony scheduled for January 20th, 2022. The VinFuture Prize Council includes Professor Gérard Albert Mourou (He won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2018), and Professor Sir Richard Henry Friend, FRS – the University of Cambridge, winner of the Millennium Technology Prize in 2010. 


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